Tag Archives: The Casual Vacancy

Miniseries vs. Book: The Casual Vacancy

Upon finally getting around to reading The Casual Vacancy (aka the first book J.K. Rowling wrote after the Harry Potter series ended), I had so many thoughts and feelings. Primarily: this book is a lot better than I expected it to be, based on what I’d heard and the criticism I’d read. Also: I can’t wait to see how this is adapted for the screen in the BBC miniseries of the same name.

The story revolves around the residents of a small British village called Pagford. Barry Fairbrother, a member of the village’s council, is a friend to everyone and a general do-gooder. But when he suddenly, tragically dies, the casual vacancy on the council becomes a not-so-casual vacancy for the rest of town.

With each section of the book, more and more characters unravel as Howard and Shirley Mollison’s son, Miles, prepares to run for Fairbrother’s seat — as well as Simon Price and Colin Wall. But each person running has their own secrets — secrets which are subsequently spilled online, posted anonymously by their very own children, who happen to despise them.

There are far too many characters to name, too many relationships to get into and too many domino-effect casualties to mention. But I enjoyed it. As she did in the Harry Potter novels, Rowling continued her theme of children vs. adults (and the children generally winning). Plus, the interconnectedness of the characters reminded me of other stories that stem from the British mainland (Love Actually, anyone?). In the end, the best characters were crushed.

A lot was changed for the TV adaptation. Those who disliked the book will likely tell you the series was far superior. Those who were fans of the book will tell you the series was awful. I’m here to tell you the series wasn’t awful but it was far less grim than the novel.

The novel is dark and twisty, much like the end of the Harry Potter series. I thought each character was an awful person, and the end was truly tragic and morbid. That, I believe, is the reason that producers made the series less severe. Of the two deaths at the end of the novel, only one dies in the show. I suppose all that death would have been too much for the average viewer.

Most of the other changes were due to time restrictions, I’m sure. The series was three hours, but certainly could have used a fourth. I was upset that one of the book’s characters was left out entirely and that some of the big “meeting” and “party” scenes were combined. The series also added extra relationships between characters. For example, Barry Fairbrother was an uncle to some of the kids in the show and a half-brother to another character. These relationships were never established in the book.

On some level, both the series and novel may seem as though they have no “point.” But it seems to me that any vacancy is anything but casual, and that’s what should keep readers and viewers on their toes.

Get The Casual Vacancy in paperback for $14.23.

Or get it on your Kindle for $8.99.

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‘Casual Vacancy’ Lingerie Shop Causing Controversy

It wasn’t too long ago that I reported J.K. Rowling’s first adult book, The Casual Vacancy, was being adapted into a BBC miniseries, set to air in the U.S. in the next few months. It seems that the miniseries is now causing a bit of an uproar in a small English town.

According to Entertainment Weekly, a lingerie shop was built for the set of The Casual Vacancy in Painswick. The Casual Vacancy centers around a parish council, and now people in the village of Painswick are making complaints to their actual parish council about the lingerie shop, as Megan Daley explains:

“They complained about it at the local parish council meeting,” the show’s director, Jonny Campbell, told The Telegraph at a screening of the first episode at BAFTA. “They said it was a disgrace on the one hand, but on the other a couple of little old ladies with white hair came walking past, looking in the window, and said ‘we’ve already got all that stuff.’

Not going to lie…kind of love this story.

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Get J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ in Hardcover for $20, Down from $35

It’s a big bestseller that, in the two months since its release, has had its fair share of problems and glitches. Regardless, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has found success with The Casual Vacancy, her first non-children’s book.

The novel tells the story of a man who dies in a small English town, and his death raises questions about who he really was and who’s going to fill his spot on the town council? A black comedy, Rowling’s first adult novel may not be getting the best reviews, but it is getting people to talk….and read.

Now you can get The Casual Vacancy in hardcover for just $20, down from $35.

Or get it on your Kindle for $14.99.

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J.K. Rowling’s Next Book: ‘Likely To Be For Children’

Though Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s first adult book The Casual Vacancy is selling well, it has gotten some relatively underwhelming reviews. That may explain why the author recently told several media outlets that her next book would likely be a children’s book.

According to Huffington Post, Rowling revealed the news (below) in a web chat hosted by the publisher Scholastic:

The next thing I publish is likely to be a book for children. The reason I’m not committing myself wholeheartedly is because, after fifteen years of being a writer for Harry Potter, where you would say something and someone would seize on it and say, ‘You are definitely doing that now.’ And you kind of thought you weren’t allowed to change your mind. And it got a little intense, so I try not to commit myself with my plan. So I’m not 100 percent sure about doing it, but I think it will be a book slightly more for children.

Rowling also mentioned something similar in an interview with BBC. However, she hasn’t made clear if the book would have anything to do with the world of Harry Potter. Rowling has previously mentioned that she may not be done telling Hogwarts stories yet, even though she says her Harry Potter stories are finished for sure. What do you guys think? Will her next children’s book be Hogwarts related? Or something completely different?

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Glitches Fixed in J.K. Rowling’s ‘Casual Vacancy’ E-Book Version

Though sales have been good and steady, J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel was not released without some glitches. According to Mashable, the e-book versions of The Casual Vacancy had text so small, it was unreadable, and readers were not able to enlarge it.

The novel’s publisher, Hachette, has since taken the blame for the glitch and fixed the problem.

However, it seems the formatting glitch was one of several problems readers had with the The Casual Vacancy. Readers took to social media to complain about the price of the e-book ($17.99, as opposed to the typical $12.99) and the content itself. The Casual Vacancy is selling well, but not getting the rave reviews Rowling likely expected.

Have any of you bought or read the book yet? I’m about to put it on hold for myself at my library.

Get The Casual Vacancy in hardcover for $20.90.

Or — now that the glitch has been fixed — get it on your Kindle for $14.99.


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